Ross Brooks

Australia Plans to Dump One Millions Tons of Mud Near the Great Barrier Reef

by , 02/03/14

coral reef destruction, marine biologist Selina Ward, Abbot Point port expansion, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, North Queensland COnservation Council, Australian port expansion, threats to the Great Barrier Reef,

The Great Barrier Reef is home to a vibrant marine ecosystem that fosters thousands of different species, many of which may now be threatened due to plans signed off by the Australian government. The country plans to dump one million tons of mud near the reef to create the world’s largest coal port. Despite “strict” environmental controls, many are concerned for the future of the reef.

coral reef destruction, marine biologist Selina Ward, Abbot Point port expansion, Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt, North Queensland COnservation Council, Australian port expansion, threats to the Great Barrier Reef,

Selina Ward, a marine biologist at Queensland University, said that “dumping millions of tons of sediment near the reef could smother the corals and sea grasses while dredging risks releasing poisons on the seabed.” She signed a petition that opposes the plan earlier this week, along with 233 other scientists, according to Yahoo News.

Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt said he would demand “a 150 per cent net benefit requirement for water quality” in the reef area, which has already been called unachievable by Wendy Tubman from the North Queensland Conservation Council. “You’ve got water of a certain clarity, then you add three million cubic metres of dredge spoil, finds, sands, sludge… Now I don’t know about you, but I can’t see how that’s going to improve water quality,” she said.

The Abbot Point port near Queensland could generate a huge amount of income, which is why several companies have shown support for the expansion, and why many of the environmental concerns could fall on deaf ears. Exports are likely to run into the hundreds of millions of tons each year, with an estimated value of $1.4 – 2.8 billion.

UNESCO warned last year it was considering placing the reef on its endangered list for 2014 because of the threats it faces from dredging for fossil fuel ports, increased shipping frequency and run off from agricultural developments. Following this recent announcement, we hope this happens sooner rather than later.

Via TIME, YahooNews

Images by NQBP

Related Posts

LEAVE A COMMENT

or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:


2 Comments

  1. nyanga February 10, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Personally and selfishly I would prefer the Great Barrier Reef to be the government of Australia’s Top consideration, this environment is unique, once destroyed cannot be replaced, is this not a disgrace to humanity ???? On the other side of the coin, without the coal industry can Australia as it is today, survive? Perhaps there will not be as much destruction as imagined by this mud dumping, perhaps it will be worse? Who chooses, I fear it’s the government, is there anything that can be done to stop it?

  2. Nyanga February 10, 2014 at 7:27 am

    The truth, without the coal industry Australia will not be able to sustain it’s life style and infrastructure, i.e. schools, hospitals, roads etc, the list goes on. Without the infrastructure sustained by the coal industry, Australia will return to it’s Aboriginal past and culture. The Australian government has no choice!What do you choose?

  • Read Inhabitat

  • Search Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Browse by Keyword

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >